5 Ayurvedic Strategies for a Healthy Halloween
Ah, Halloween: night of the living sugar zombies! With trick-or-treating just around the corner, you might be wondering how to make this holiday healthy for the kids. Dressing up in creative costumes gives children the opportunity to be imaginative, bringing light and fun into a dark season—but all that candy can be a little hard to digest. When eaten in excess, sugar can be a bit of a vampire that saps energy levels, leaving you with the ghostly sensation of being spaced out (a sure sign Vata dosha is off-kilter). Too much sugar can also lead to the accumulation of toxins, which can lead to compromised immunity, weight gain, and sluggishness.. But fear not: here are a few simple strategies to help you and your family enjoy all the fun of Halloween without that dreaded sugar crash.
1. Offer Wholesome Treats
These days, many stores offer plenty of healthy alternatives to candy treats around Halloween. Look for things like single-serve packages of nuts, yummy fruit leathers, yogurt-covered raisins, and popped popcorn. If you’re having a party, serve tasty appetizers like our Ayurvedic Garbanzo Party Dip, Pumpkin Seed Party Mix, or Roasted Ayurvedic Nuts.
2. Encourage Smart, Self-Referral Choices
Of course, you can’t decide what other parents will hand out on Halloween night! If your kids come home from trick-or-treating with pillowcases full of chocolate and lollipops, you might want to ask them if they’d like to trade in some portion of their sweets for a small toy you’ve purchased beforehand.
One of our employees used to make the following deal with their kids: they could have fun going out and collecting candies, but the next day they would trade in their chemical, corn syrup-based candies and receive a “candy credit.” The kids would then take a trip to the local natural grocer to choose organic candies and other wholesome treats with their trade-in credit. These types of agreements give children the experience of making healthy eating choices—lessons that will pay valuable dividends over the years.
3. Save Sweets for Bigger Meals
Eating sugar on an empty stomach can lead to the inevitable sugar crash and dampen kids’ appetites for regularly scheduled meals, so it’s helpful to encourage them to save their candy until after mealtime. During the day, digestion is strongest during Pitta time (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.), so that’s a better time to eat a piece or two, rather than right before bed.
4. Wind Down Before Bed
Worried you’ll never get the kids settled down after all that trick-or-treating excitement? There are plenty of Ayurvedic measures you can take to help them gently wind down. A warm bath and a mug of boiled milk with nutmeg or Organic Vata Tea can be very soothing, as can dimming the lights and reading together. It also helps to have your little goblins and fairies come home well before bedtime.
5. Everything in Moderation… and Enjoy!
As with all things in life, moderation is key. It can be helpful to set some general parameters around how much candy kids can have at one time, while also giving them the freedom to choose wisely for themselves (cultivating the quality of being self-referral). The concept of moderation is actually an Ayurvedic behavioral rasayana—that which affects the mind’s influence on the body in a very concrete way. Above all, enjoy! After all, Halloween only rolls around once a year.
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